BP Products Pays $180 Million to Settle Benzene Emissions Suit


BP Product s North America, Inc. will pay $180 million to settle a lawsuit stemming from activity at one of its Texas City, Texas refineries. According to the EPA, benzene emissions and waste products containing benzene generated during petroleum production exceeded the Clean Air Act. These violations were identified during an EPA inspection that followed a refinery explosion in 2005, which killed 15 and injured 170.

BP will pay $161 million to address the Clean Air Act violations, and will spend the money on better pollution controls, improve internal management practices, and enhance monitoring and maintenance devices. Twelve million dollars will be paid as a penalty and the other $6 million will go toward funding a project to reduce air pollution in Texas City.

Benzene is a known carcinogen used as a solvent in manufacturing several products. Exposure to high levels of benzene has been linked to the development of several kinds of leukemia.

BP is one of the most profitable oil companies in the world whose profits run in the tens of billions. So, $180 million is not that much money to this kind of company that can pay off any fine for violating the law.